The just-married actress shares her personal style secrets—and tells all about everything leading up to her walk down the aisle.
Kate Bosworth is not the girl who’s been planning her wedding her whole life. As a child, she didn’t dress her Barbie up as a bride, wrenching Ken into awkward down-on-one-knee situations. She never imagined a ceremony with tiaras and horse-drawn carriages. Even as an adult, she didn’t daydream, while at friends’ weddings, about all the things she’d do the same, all the things she’d do differently.
“I had never thought about my wedding dress before I got engaged,” says Bosworth, a mere 12 days before she is to wed film director Michael Polish. She is wearing just a splash of sparkly Chanel eyeshadow and some Tarte lip stain—and a denim sundress by Zandra Rhodes for Topshop with See by Chloé brown wedge sandals and a metallic purse from Loewe that she estimates is eight years old. “I never actually thought about what I wanted for my wedding. There are some women who know exactly, from the moment they can speak. But for me I needed to find the man in order to understand the bigger picture.”
All that’s changed now, as she’s spent the last few months planning her wedding (she and Polish announced their engagement in August 2012), and it is clear that deadlines are breathing down her neck. A friend recently asked her if she’s been doing all sorts of “bridal things.” Bosworth didn’t understand. “You know, like massages and stuff?” “No, are you kidding?” Bosworth answered with a laugh. “I don’t have time for that!”
“We just want to throw a killer party,” she says. “That’s where the stress comes in—just wanting to make it great for everyone else.” She’s making her way through a plate of kale salad, quiche and burrata cheese from the buffet at Soho House West Hollywood. She used to eat anything she wanted, but now that she’s 30, she’s more mindful. “Up until maybe age 28, I lived on pizza, pasta, comfort food,” she says. “Now it’s about sustaining energy.”
Though she’s way too busy to do all those bridal things, she has spent some time perfecting her skin. Though it appears bright and flawless, she says she’s been working on it via Skype with a skin consultant for SK-II, a brand for which she serves as an ambassador. (She’s doing what she calls their “bridal transformation,” which includes masks and creams, the net result being that you look like you got a lot of sleep and drank a lot of water—even though you’re planning your wedding, so you most certainly did not.) “All my girlfriends take photos and send them to each other because the mask is quite … comedic when it’s on,” she says. “It’s sort of a luxurious, cotton take on the Hannibal Lecter mask.”
The Friday before our lunch, Bosworth and Polish spent the night in the emergency room after he broke a bone in his foot in a motorcycle accident. “There was this moment of him in the ER hospital bed, battered and bruised, and it was like, here we are, for better or worse, sickness and health,” she recalls.
“In general, I haven’t been the weepy bride so far. I think at the wedding itself I’ll probably have a lot more [emotion].” Meeting Oscar de la Renta, though, who designed her custom strapless gown, was a moving experience. “He’s just seen it all, and the fact that I’ll be able to share my most important moment to date with him is profound.” She stops and smiles, remembering. “I couldn’t control my reaction to sitting with him and talking with him about my wedding dress. I was trying not to cry, so I probably had this bizarre twisted face on.”
Bosworth has been in the public eye since age 15 (when she made her film debut in The Horse Whisperer). Unlike so many actresses who find success at a young age, she has avoided the starlet’s standard fame trappings, like party-girl antics and ill-advised iPhone selfies—at most, she may have committed the sin of a heavy eye at the same time as a heavy lip—and has been able to cultivate a career that spans several industries. This fall will see her launch a second clothing collaboration with Topshop, maintain her founder role with JewelMint (an online jewelry club), play a lonely wife in the indie And While We Were Here (that’s Bosworth’s own wardrobe in the film) and star—tripped out in liquid eyeliner and awesome teased ’60s hair—in Big Sur, a movie adaptation of the Jack Kerouac novel of the same name, directed by Polish.
In fact, the couple met in 2011 while Big Sur was casting. Polish had wanted to see her for the role because, she says, he’d always been interested in her acting choices. They clicked in “like, minutes,” says Bosworth and were soon inseparable. One night, they made a commitment. “There was just one thing we asked of each other, just always to be 100 percent honest, even if it was hard,” she remembers. After a year, he formally proposed with an engagement ring from 1920s France that he found at Fred Leighton. It has a platinum band and an infinity diamond. She says they’re a low-key couple. “Like, truly, our most romantic evenings are cooking and dancing in the kitchen to Dwight Yoakam,” she says.
She may not have been planning her wedding dress for her whole life, but she has loved fashion from an early age. As a kid, her father, a department store executive, would show her different fabrics and explain why one sold better than another. She remembers, at 17, making her first big style splurge—thanks to her paycheck from Remember the Titans—on a dark gray sheer shirt with a silver sequined horse on it by Stella McCartney (now a friend). She still has the shirt.
It was her interest in fashion that got Bosworth designing for Topshop. Last December, she and Polish did a holiday ad for the company; Bosworth helped design the dress she wore for it. The company soon wanted her to do more, and her first collection of “festival clothes” (Bosworth is a Coachella regular) appeared last spring. The partnership was a success, and her second line, The Collection Starring Kate Bosworth—comprising 46 minimalist designs—makes its debut on October 24. “These are pieces that you don’t want to get rid of, that don’t feel like, ‘Oh, that was this season,’ ” she says. “They’re things you would want in your wardrobe for years and years to come.”
Back at lunch, it’s time for Bosworth to finish up so she can pick up Polish for his final suit fitting at Brooks Brothers—he can’t drive with a broken foot. She’s in the home stretch of wedding planning, and she’s ready to get to the part where she just enjoys the big day. A friend of Bosworth’s gave her one piece of advice: “Don’t try to not cry. If you’re going to cry, cry. When you try not to, it’s the worst picture-face of all time.”
“I’ll keep that in mind,” says Bosworth. “I suppose the best thing I’ve learned is to just be in the moment. It’s one of those clichés, but it’s true; if you try and control too much then you’ll really miss all the magic.”